Monday, March 22, 2010

Cat and Bird Cards

50 cards and two weekend days later....Voila....

10,000 Librarians are in town this week and I hope they like cats, books and birds!

3 B's!

These were done with backgrounds I did using inks in a class two years ago. I think that they are weird enough to work with these images. For more on this visit my blog at:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Essential Art Supplies

Our question for the month is:
Given scissors and glue, what 3 other supplies couldn't you live without?

Interestingly enough, I would not have chosen scissors and glue as my first 2 supplies. But if I could only have 3 other art supplies I would choose:
  1. A paper that could handle getting wet like that used in watercolor, 100% cotton 140 lb. Arches Cold Press or a variety of papers.
  2. Stabilo Woody Watersoluable crayons because they are my favorite art supply of all. You can use them to draw and wet them and they will look like watercolor.
  3. A variety of sizes and types of paint brushes.
  1. Gloss gel medium light and heavy body--great for stencils, texture, glue and just integrating lots of stuff.
  2. Brilliance gold stamp ink--for direct to paper, stamping subtle texture, outlining and blending imagery
  3. Gold leaf and gold leaf adhesive.

Double sided sticky tape, ribbons/braids and buttons, beautiful papers

  1. A big bag of fabric scraps, preferably lots of funky prints from old thrift store clothing, some delicious silks and velvets, and some of my hand-dyed bits.
  2. A sharp needle.
  3. A big cone of black buttonhole thread. (And glasses so I could thread the needle!)
OK I really want paints and brushes too, but I could probably make those out of mud and sticks if I had to.

  1. Acrylic paints
  2. A pile of rusty bits
  3. Stabilo "All" pencil--it marks on everything--paint, acrylic, paper, etc. You set it with gel medium, but it writes over everything and you can smudge it so it is a lot of fun to work with. It is especially good to use for outlining things to add interest and make things seem a little more mysterious.

Oh that one is easy! Beads, needles and beading thread. Does chocolate count as an art supply?

  1. paint--is that more than one?
  2. tools, again I think I'm cheating--OK a carving knife
  3. wood

My color copier, my Xyron, and M Graham watercolors--oh, oh, can I add a waterbrush too?

  1. sewing machine
  2. fiber (meaning cloth and yarn)
  3. size "G" crochet hook

Paper, clay and art books for ideas.

  1. Golden matte medium
  2. PVA glue
  3. waxed linen book binding thread

Camera, pens and paint


Teflon bone folder, retractable knife, lots of paper, and you can keep the scissors unless they're really tiny (or I'll trade for linen thread).

  1. plastic lids from cottage cheese, etc. for mixing paint and dabbing glue from
  2. the inner plastic from old sponge brushes for spreading glue (tear away the old used sponge part and you have a little plastic spatula on a wooden handle for spreading glue).
  3. canvas craft tool carrier with lots of pockets.

My art journal, paints, and pens. With these and scissors and glue, I'd be very content on a deserted island.

  1. a fine point black pen (for example, Faber Castell artist pen)
  2. my favorite music playing on my CD player
  3. This is not a supply item, but it is something that I absolutely need to create art: A DEADLINE!!
  1. Gesso--black, white and clear, I rarely complete a project without using one of them.
  2. Encaustic wax plain and colored
  3. Golden mediums (I am cheating by lumping them all together, but my favorite is absorbant grounds for my watermedia)
But truly, the list is pretty endless...

  1. All kinds of color applications and applicators.
  2. All kinds of materials on which to administer the color.
  3. An active and creative imagination.

What are your three essential art supplies?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Steampunk Bugs

I found the directions for this polymer clay bug in a new book called Steampunkery by Christi Friesen. I really enjoyed making them.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

this and that

These balls, called "happy balls" in Vietnam where I bought them, were intended as dog toys, but they're too cute for that, and any dog I know would probably tear them apart in two minutes. I liked the simple structure and the intricate embroidery , and they were far too inexpensive for the amount of work that someone put into them.
More fine embroidery on this necklace, also done by minority hill tribes. These squares are only about 1/2 inch each, so they are miniature works of art. This was the most charming jewelry that I saw anywhere in Vietnam.
I guess these inspired me to do another scrappy journal, with a variety of dupioni silk scraps that I pieced, then , as is typical for me, I wanted to get it finished without too much difficulty. I could have stitched the signatures in, but since I had my sewing machine at hand, decided to try just stitching them in with the machine, which I think worked well. Sometimes my best inspirations come at moments like this
Car trips can be good for getting some projects done, and I always travel with plenty of hand work to keep me entertained. My friend Paula taught me to do this kind of wire crochet, and it is quite fun and seems to be more than the sum of the parts. I will further embellish them, maybe with silk ribbon.
This is what I spent most of my car time making. What are they, you ask? Little silk balls, made from the scraps of fabric that I begged from lantern makers and silk factories in Vietnam. I wish I had thought of it sooner, as I only gathered fabric in a few places. But they make luscious little balls I think. I really don't even know what will become of these but I have a few ideas. Stay tuned...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Anatomy of a Carving........

It doesn't start off very glamorous. In this case a big chunk of bass wood. But stay tuned, it gets better, promise.
After glueing and clamping the wood to get the size I need. I sketch on both the top and side.

Next the piece of wood is run through a band saw, to cut out my design, again on the top and side.

I then power carve and hand carve with chisels, many sandings later I get the final shape. Wood is subtractive and not forgiving, but there in lies the challenge that intrigues me. And when the time comes to paint her, painting being my first love... well it all seems worth it!
I delivered her to Guardino Gallery today. She's called "Bravo Girl" done in the outsider folk art that calls my name these days....

Friday, March 5, 2010

Introducing--Laurie Weiss

We are happy to begin a new feature on our blog of member introductions. We asked each member to answer a questionnaire about their art and interests. We have 30 members with diverse art interests, so we hope you enjoy meeting them all and find inspiration in their thoughts and artwork.

Laurie Weiss is probably one of our more focused members with a concentration on creating art books.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

I work mainly with paper, leather, and cloth for books. I'm always interested in the feel of both the materials and the finished book. Handling books is a very tactile experience for me, regardless of the content, or if there even is any.
2. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?

Portland has a huge book arts community. There are class offerings, from beginning to advanced, all over the region. A couple places to start are EM Studios (SE Portland). Green Heron Books (Forest Grove), The Book Center (McMinnville), and of course PCC and Oregon College of Art and Craft. There is also, of course, the 5-day biennial Focus on Book Arts conference in Forest Grove (next one June 2011).

3. A perfect art day would look like.....

Last Saturday--beautiful, warm weather so I could leave the door open to the studio (the dogs can come and go) and several projects working out at the same time as glue and paint/dye dry, and NO interruptions!

4. Do you have dedicated studio space?

My studio was created from one of the over-sized bays in my garage. It's 24'x16' with lots of light and built-in storage for just about everything, including my papers.

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

Well, I love where I live and everything I need or want is here. But, I also loved Morocco when I visited a few years ago. The people were great and there is art everywhere, calligraphic pieces and tiled geometrics.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?

Nature patterns and natural elements (materials such as papers and dyes, as well as earth tones) seem to be incorporated in most of my work. I think where I live, out in the country, tends to draw this out.

7. I still struggle with.....

The concept of "art" vs. craft". My goal is to keep moving my work more into the artist realm, expanding the mediums I work with and incorporating more creative elements.
8. I'd be lost without....

My Teflon bone folder! A most handy tool in my work.

9. Favorite dessert?

Easy one--cheesecake.

10. What's on the horizon?

I don't know. I've started making boxes, and am wanting to try my hand two-dimensionally. I think of art as evolving, so it's not something I want to plan out. I often find that calls for exhibit entries will get me thinking of something new to try.
Hope you enjoyed this first introduction. Let us know if there are other questions you would like to hear answered.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Greeting Cards Revisited

Several of the PAC artists create and sell greeting cards, produced from their original work. I have a collection of these that I don't intend to give away as cards, but to just enjoy myself. The problem is, they often get tucked away where they can't be seen. I decided to re-purpose some of these lovely cards into simple books. It's a fun and easy project.

This is one of Lenall Siebenaler's cards of a Portland cityscape that has been trimmed and layered onto colored cardstock. The back cover is also made from cardstock. I added some inside pages and assembled with coil binding. If you don't have a coil binding punch and coils at home, your local printing/copy shop should be able to do this for you for a minimal charge.

Here, I used an art print from Tory Brokenshire and layered it on Debi Koenig's hand decorated paper. The covers are actually recycled tagboard but you'd never know it! The book is bound very simply with two metal rings. Pages can easily be added or removed. I'm going to use this as a photo album.
I'm binding some extra cards of my own into little notebooks to give as gifts at an art retreat. I used decorative papers and fabric to create borders around the image, added some blank pages, then put it all together with a coil binding.

So, dig out those cards you've been saving and enjoy giving them a new life!